I detest (secretly the real sentiment is hate) labels. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in the turmoil of the cultural upheaval of the 1960’s and 70’s. That would be an easy default excuse to use, but then someone might want to stitch the label “rebel” in my collar and my distaste for pigeon-holing unique people in mediocre groupings gags on that like a chicken bone. No, I just like being an individual who is finally comfortable with the fit of my own unique skin.
I’m not the only one-of-a-kind wandering around on this planet—you are too. None of us are alike and yet, we are all human beings. We were created in the image and likeness of a Creator who revels in the degrees of diversity, but loves unity—just not uniformity. If you have a label sown on the nape of your neck or under your arm, blame someone other than God, because the last time he sutured anything it was Adam’s ribcage.
Labels label. That one is obvious. You probably carry a moniker that someone other than you thought would fit you perfectly. They tend to divide us into categories and grouping that follow us all our life. Slow…Hyper…Weak…Strong…Smart…Loud…Introvert—you get what I mean. I may be slow because I process differently than others. I may be loud because I don’t feel like you hear me. I may be introverted for a time because I am not comfortable or a little uncertain of myself in this present atmosphere. There may be a sufficiently valid reason I am what I am at this very moment and that should not classify me in some arbitrary grouping. I know people who are wearing labels someone else tacked on them as children and that label is who they have become.
Labels also limit. They limit us to a fleeting success, a passing failure, a brief phase, or what someone else has chosen for us. They place a subjective ceiling on how high we can go—a fence of finality around how far we might roam. No other person living or dead has the right to limit you in the areas God has chosen to leave unlimited to you. We limit ourselves by dressing in the tyranny of restrictions that the faithless have imposed on others because they themselves have slipped comfortably into the noose of self-imposed limitations. Stamp a label on something and you automatically limit that person or product from being everything it could, would, or should have been
Ultimately, labels lessen. They leave us looking in the rear view mirror wondering what might have been. They haunt us as we get older and realize we have settled for far less than God intended. In some things less is better, but not in life. Life was meant to be lived full out and not half-way. Labels discriminate, berate, delegate, intimidate, and assassinate. But in the end, a label simply castrates our ability to step into our divine destiny.
Labels fly at us from all directions. They often seem harmless in the beginning, but can quickly bog us down or cripple us outright. Labels only stick as long as you allow them a surface to land on. As my father used to say, “Shake it off and get shed of it.” You can be Velcro for labels or you can be whatever you have the ability to dream. Lose the label and leap into life.